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Matthew Ostrove


by Rhonda Spivak


The Islamic Social Services Association [ISSA] has extended an invitation to  Matthew Ostrove  (personally), to have an Israel booth at Winnipeg's Multicultural TEA FEST which takes place from 2-5 p.m. on October 15  at the Franco Manitoban Cultural Centre.


Shahina Siddiqui, Executive Director of ISSA explained to the Winnipeg Jewish Review that there are 20 booths from various countries at TEA  FEST , with each booth providing tea and dessert for attendees to sample, and that Ostrove was asked to put on an "Israeli booth," which is to be manned by four volunteers. Other countries for the upcoming Tea Fest include Palestine, Egypt, Iran, China, Japan, as well as countries from Africa. "Last year we had countries from all five continents," she noted 


Ostrove , who works in the area of business development for Toshiba Canada, noted that he as an individual received the invitation to participate in TEA FEST from his personal friend of many years Sabrina Bahadoosingh, who is the Operations Manager of ISSA.


According to the website promoting the event , TEA FEST, which is put on by ISSA and  the Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute, is designed to be an opportunity for multicultural  dialogue and an opportunity to learn about different cultures in an afternoon that "celebrates conversation, ceremony and friendship around tea."

Ostrove   says that the Israeli booth will have an Israeli flag and artifacts on display (such as a shofar) and that  he anticipates "that all the dialogue at the event will be respectful. "  He says "We decided to participate since it is important "to build bridges between the Jewish and Muslim and other communities" and he noted that the fact that he personally has been invited to set up an Israel booth at TEA FEST is a sign of  "normalization" between Israel and the Muslim world and other cultures and should be supported. He adds that at the booth he will promote Israeli technology.

This year will be the 3rd annual TEA FEST,an event that is part of Islamic History month which receives funding from the Federal government as well as the Manitoba Multiculturalism Secretariat.

Ostrove will be present to represent the Israel Booth  as will fourty two year old old Roman Zilber who works at a cost efficiency company, CostWise Business Consulting. Zilber comes from Latvia and arrived in Winnipeg four and a half years ago.  Zilber is married with four  children and lives in Steinbach, but comes into Winnipeg regularly. He told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that he would like to promote Israeli technology.

Shahina Siddique  told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that this is not a political event, but a cultural event. She said that people manning the booths have been advised not to engage in political discussion, but only conversations about culture.

Admission to Tea Fest is $10.00 and Ostrove invites members of the Jewish community to come out for the event, "and support the Israel booth" and enjoy  a "multicutural exchange."

Anyone wishing to attend TEA FEST who would like more information can email Ostrove at

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.